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The Holiday Trinity!

Hi Sewists! I’m Andrew, this flamingo Cotton Poplin Fabric really caught my eye and I’m so glad to have got hold of some of it! You see, I work as a hairdresser and we have to wear black clothes. Since I’ve been sewing my own clothes I’ve been pushing that boundary to include black-based-fabrics. I could definitely get away with a shirt like this at work in the summer!

The fabric arrived quickly. It pre washed well, ironed crisply and the colours are just as rich and vibrant. I used the Bernie shirt pattern from the La Maison Victor magazine. It has short sleeves, a back pleat and a really cool little collar.

The beauty of a nice crisp design like this is pattern matching. To match the pocket, I traced the design from the front of the shirt onto the pocket pattern piece. (I use an iron-away pen so that I can use the same pattern piece next time.) Then I use the pocket template to find the part of the fabric that I need.

The one downside to a well structured cotton is that it can be tricky to ease in the sleeves without creating puckers. To avoid this, I run a line of stitching, inside the seam allowance, over the sleeve head. I hold my finger tight behind the presser foot so that the fabric bunches up behind. This creates a sort-of concertina effect making it much easier to ease the sleeve in. You can see the curve of the shoulder already forming in the photo below.

The short sleeve is really short on this pattern, and I wanted a nice turned cuff. This is the easiest method I know for finishing a cuff and I love the look of it too. I fold the hem up to the wrong side by 4cm. Press it then fold again at 4cm. Make sure the raw edge is exactly inside the fold.

Stitch it from the wrong side just 5mm from the edge. This catches the raw edge in the fold and you can flip the cuff down and press it into place.

This shirt is drafted with a straight hem, which I was looking forward to sewing for a change. I usually use bias binding on my curved hems nowadays as it’s much easier and neater than trying to keep a double-fold even. But with the straight edge, this was going to be a breeze… until I caught one of the pieces under the blade of my overlocker! Thankfully it was not too deep and right where the hem would have curved anyway, so I cut the other side to match - crisis averted!

They’ll see me coming in this!

This fabric is only 112cm/ 44” wide, so I got 3m for a shirt. This is generous to start with and as I ended up making a short sleeve, I had a reasonable bit of fabric left over. If I was really careful I could maybe squeeze out a couple more pieces…

Please welcome the #HolidayTrinity… kicking off with the Bernie Shirt…

The Elbe Bucket Hat (free pattern)

And some self drafted shorts…

The cotton poplin is perfect for hot weather. Now I’m not quite sure which came first, the holiday booking or the outfit… but either way, I got to wear it pretty quickly! I couldn’t wait to team it up with my new flamingo T-shirt and here I am at Queen Hatshepsut‘s temple in Luxor - there was no chance of me getting lost from the group!

Thanks for reading. If you want to see more of my makes you can find me on Instagram @sewandrew or my blog

Happy sewing!

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Georgina Filby said:

I love your holiday fabric choice, Andrew! All three items are great and you wear them well! Your pattern matching on your shirt pockets is wonderful. Love the all-out flamingo-ness! · 3rd May 2019 07:46pm